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One month only

 

Stop and imagine just for one moment.  You have worked hard this last month, you woke up early to do the morning commute for one or two hours in to work.  You have dealt with the insatiable demands of your manager and the incessant questions from subordinates, or the queries arising from curious and unappreciative customers.  

It’s lunch time and you take a quick peek at your email and it is that time of the month – bills coming in.  Not bad, tomorrow is payday! But, the wages fail to hit YOUR bank.  Some problem with payroll and they don’t see a solution in sight but they have assured to give you an IOU for some amount of money that does not meet your need.  When the problem is resolved, the balance due will be paid with next  month’s wages.

Just one month wages messed up through no fault of yours and your total financial system is ruined temporarily.  We have been conditioned to live from one pay check to the other with slim chances of breaking free, one month’s paycheck can be the beginning of a poverty cycle.

Imagine!

It is not the payroll next time, it is ill health. You or any member of the family can fall ill anytime without notice, requiring your attention and time away from work.  Unplanned time. One month or one week.  

How many weeks can you afford without pay with no effect on your lifestyle or set you back into a poverty trap?  Do the math.  After all, #YHTK.

Save!      Invest!      Plan!     Multiple streams of income!     Network! Build!    Trade!   Sell!    Leverage!    Skills!    Character!    Attitude!

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The Gap Inbetween

I live in a semi detached house. Paul, my neighbor was a very private person. He had his issues like everyone else. He didn’t take me long to realize his issue was alcohol. At over 80 years of age, he carried himself well despite his circumstance.  One of my conversations revealed he became an alcoholic through his appreciation for gardening. He did have a well tended garden.

Paul lived alone and the only guests that come visiting were the postman and the grocery delivery guys. Most mornings I would see him taking his dog for a walk and occasionally, I would see him in his garden enjoying the sun. Once I even saw him crying and he tried to assure me all was well. But I bet it was a reflective moment.

My fear for Paul was God forbid if anything should happen to him, it could take days before we ever know and that was exactly what happened.  It was during his cremation service, which I attended together with few other neighbors, that I realized he had a daughter, a son in law, an ex-wife, an ex girlfriend (who lived with him before the breakup) a brother and a grandchild. That about sums up the total number of family members that attended the funeral service plus four neighbors.

On the other side of things, I attended Sister Julie’s funeral service years ago, she died at the age of 45.  When I got back home, I couldn’t sleep . My head was muddled up at the turn of events. The mood was with me all through the next day as well. I couldn’t believe we had just buried someone so dear and precious. The atmosphere in the room was celebration. It made me understand what it means by a celebration of life.  Her Husband, Uncle Paddy was going around, asking everyone if they were alright. Her two teenage children going around asking; Auntie, are you okay ? and dancing to the song “sweet mother I no go forget you”.  Friends were laughing and teasing each other on who can speak better pidgin English.

The following day was Sunday and people came up testifying in church as we had a thanksgiving service for her. It was beautiful.  My reflections were on the funeral and the party at home afterwards.The testimonies of her neighbors,who find her praying time soothing. The video guy who was recording guests as they say their tribute, who came to church and wanted to be a part of such a family.

Often times, I would reflect on these two people, the 80 year old man who died lonely and as a cranky person .Even the flower pot he tended and used to separate the two houses was eventually knocked down and used for the fireplace by someone else. The 45 year old woman, who died of cancer after fighting for many years, who touched so many lives in spite of her pain, whose funeral robbed me of sleep as it was a celebration of life and made me think this is how I would want to be celebrated when I am gone.

The difference between the two from CRADLE to GRAVE is “the gap in between”.  What did they spend those times doing. Self or Selfless, Gathering or Giving, Building or Breaking?

The time will come, when we all will answer that final call. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak, sick or healthy. It won’t really matter because it is another necessary step in our growth process. What matters is what you did in between.

Yes, it is time for self evaluation and I say:

ThAT’s JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B

 

 

 

 

 

Having Done All

As teenagers back then in school, we were only four girls in a class of less than thirty.  It took me time to actually know she was in my class.  I see her always immaculately dressed, colour co-ordinated, smart and beautiful. Figure, style, makeup, she was always on point. It did not matter if it was formal or casual.  She was always radiant.

But I hardly see her in any of the classes. Always on one mission on the other. I found it shocking when she settled in school that she was actually very intelligent. I used to think then, if only she could settle herself to her studies.  But with years, and particularly with her life, I have learnt that, if your destiny is decreed to shine like the stars, nothing and no one under heaven or earth can stop that. If you shine negatively or positively, will not change the fact that – shine you must!

Talking about experiencing life, her life fits into it all. Every woman will find themselves in some part of her life. Strong, weak, married, single, sexual abuse, single parenting, rich, poor, public profile, business management, ministry, social life, celebrity lifestyle, mental illness, terminal illness, preparing to die, giving back to society.  Bimpe did not only experience all these, but willing to share her life with the world.  We do not always have to go through the school of hard knocks, but learning from other people’s experiences is a wiser way to live.

ThAT’s JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B

Photo credit: Hindi.Santabanta.com

Pathway to Success – Parenting

Couple of years ago, my kids were all in primary school and as a young parent, I had so many questions that I asked myself and sometimes would ask other parents as well. I wondered; What age it was considered safe for them to walk home by themselves from school?  What age was it safe for them to stay home by themselves? What age was it considered right for them to start dating? and so many questions all bordering around safety and responsibility.

As a doting parent, I wanted to get it right without stifling my children or depriving them of necessary moral values as well. I wanted the channel for them to be themselves, be assertive among their peers without being domineering. I wanted them to be confident and be comfortable in any environment without being loud or unruly. I wanted them to take ownership of responsibility and not shy away. I desired for them to be honest in all things even if it will cost them, knowing they acted truthfully should be enough gain. I wondered also if other parents wondered as I did.

My goal is to raise children that are proud of their background, proud of their heritage, have a good sense of compassion and be upright citizens.  What I found in the process was, there is no one way to parenting. What works in Paul’s family, may not necessarily work with Peter’s family. More so, in the same family, what works with one child, many not work with another child. I learnt quickly that as Parents, for us to achieve success in raising our children, we  need to study each child individually to understand what approach will work in individual cases.

 

ThAT’s  JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B